Article written by fitness and health expert and longtime Clearly Filtered customer Tim Liu
When it comes to improving your health and well-being, there are many things you should be doing. Eating lean protein with each meal, having fruits and veggies each day, and performing strength training (with some cardio sprinkled in as well). But one simple thing you can do to improve all aspects of your health and fitness is to drink enough water, especially from the right sources.
After coaching for years I've seen how much water my clients actually drink. It’s pretty obvious that most of us aren’t drinking enough each day. Whenever I start with a new client for the first two weeks I have them track how much food they’re eating along with any and all fluids they’re taking in from whatever sources.
One pattern I’ve noticed is that most of my new clients are terribly dehydrated. A majority of them weren’t drinking enough water. Some of them actually get a majority of their water intake from just coffee, tea, soda, and juices adding empty carbohydrates into their systems.
There are a ton of reasons why staying hydrated is important to the human body. I’ll break down a couple for you.
Being properly hydrated will allow your brain to function at its best. The majority of our bodies are composed of water: about 45-50% of body weight in women and about 50-60% in men. But, our brains are actually made up of 80% water! In fact, even a 2% reduction in hydration can cause a small amount of shrinkage in the brain, leading to several cognitive problems. Drinking water can prevent this in a variety of ways:
- Increased cognitive function
- Increased concentration
- Maintaining memory
- Preventing headaches
Besides the brain benefits, drinking a proper amount of water also aids with digestion, helping us break down food and absorb nutrients. It also helps with constipation issues by softening our stool and flushing toxins out of our bodies.
Our skin contains water as well and drinking plenty of water each day hydrates our skin cells and gives us that nice healthy glow. By getting hydrated, our skin tissues are replenished, moisturized, and the elasticity improves. So, if you want healthy and youthful skin, then hydration is a must.
Drinking Water Helps with Bodybuilding and Muscle Gain
Water and muscle growth go hand in hand. Drinking water plays a big role in building muscle strength and losing fat. During our workouts, our bodies need more water due to muscle contractions. The more reps you do during a muscle-building weight lifting working, for example, the higher your body temperature becomes and the more strain is being put on your muscle cells. They require more nutrients and oxygen along with removing metabolic byproducts and heat from the body as we use our muscles.
Our workout performance is improved and maintained by being sufficiently hydrated, which allows us to train harder and more consistently so we can continue to build muscle tissue and burn fat. Keeping your total body water (TBW) level up assists with protein synthesis during physical activity leading to greater muscle mass. In addition, it can reduce muscle cramps and soreness after workouts by keeping proper sodium/potassium/magnesium/electrolyte balance, lowering blood pressure, reducing water retention, preventing muscle breakdown, and increasing synovial fluid, the substance that keeps your joints bending smoothly.
In terms of losing fat, it simply comes down to being in a caloric deficit, where we eat less than we burn. Although it seems simple, it certainly isn’t easy.
Dealing with hunger while losing fat is common, and during the fat loss journey, a majority of us often mistake water loss for hunger. This is why an adequate amount of water is so important while trying to lose fat. It helps the weight loss process by allowing us to tell the difference between thirst and (psychological) hunger, thereby resisting food cravings.
What Should Your Water Intake be Each Day?
As a general rule of thumb, I recommend at least half of your body weight in ounces of water. So, if you weigh 180 lbs., you would need to drink 90 ounces (0.7 gals) of water per day.
It might seem like a lot, but if you have a stainless steel or glass water bottle with the ounces labeled, just do the math and see how many servings you’ll need per day.
One easy trick to remind yourself to increase water consumption is to tie several rubber bands around the bottom of your bottle. Take the Clearly Filtered Stainless Steel water bottle as an example. It holds 20oz of water. If you weigh 160 lbs., then you need at least 80oz, which is about four bottle-fulls.
Wrap four rubber bands around your bottle, then, every time you finish a full serving, take one rubber band off.
By the end of the day, all four rubber bands should be off. Additionally, during physical activity, for every pound of sweat lost, supplement at least 2 cups of water to replenish the body. This will help you maintain performance and proper hydration levels.
Where You Should Get Your Drinking Water From
Water quantity is imperative, but proper water quality is just as vital. Given the state of our water systems here in the U.S. and the fact that only about 1% of the world’s water is safe to drink, it’s hard to ensure you’re getting it from the right places.
There are so many options for drinking water. You can go buy bottled water at your local store, drink water from a fountain, or use a filter at home. As of 2017, bottled water is an 18.5 billion dollar industry and continues to grow.
Although bottled water appears safe, science simply doesn't support that view. Many brands of bottled water aren’t any better or safer than tap water. The regulations between tap and bottled water are completely different, with bottled having fewer safety standards than tap. On top of that, there’s the excessive plastic waste that’s an inevitable byproduct of bottled water.
With all that in mind, your best bet is to filter your water. Our tap water is contaminated with many different types of chemical compounds: chlorine, fluoride, lead, arsenic, pharmaceutical drugs, BPA, pesticides, herbicides, and xenoestrogens, just to name a few.
Because of this, you want a good water filter that can filter most of those excess compounds so you’re not ingesting them to the detriment of your health and well-being.
That is why I love my Clearly Filtered water filter. It removes a lot more impurities than other water filters. Not only that, my water tastes great and I use it for everything from brewing my coffee to watering my plants. I’ve been using their filters for the past four years and haven’t looked back.
If you want a water filter that targets all the undesirable compounds and makes your water taste great, then look no further than Clearly Filtered. They’re clearly the best game in town.